Among the new European democracies that joined the EU in May 2004, Slovenia is believed to be politically the most stable one. Except for the first multiparty elections in 1990 when the DEMOS coalition, the opposition to the communist regime, formed the government (but did not end its term), and a brief six-month interlude in 2000 when Liberal Democracy (LDS) for tactical reasons decided to step down before the parliamentary election, the leading political party was the LDS. As a rule, it formed grand coalitions with different partners from all parts of the political spectrum, thereby ensuring a comfortable majority for its coalition governments in the parliament. In 2000 the LDS (centre, centre-left) formed a coalition with the Slovenian People’s Party (SLS – centre-right), the United List of Social Democrats (ZLSD – centre-left, left-wing) and the Democratic Pensioners’ Party (DeSUS – centreleft). In many ways the first EP election on 13 June 2004 came as a surprise because turnout was well below that in any national elections. Even more surprising was the interpretation of the results as electoral victory for the New Slovenia (NSI – centre-right, right-wing) and a relative defeat of the ‘ruling’ LDS. However, this would not necessarily be repeated at the national elections of October 2004.
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